IntroductionThe Ottoman Empire was a vast Turkish state founded in the thirteenth century by the Osmani Turks who were led by descendants of Osman I (1258–c. 1326). By the middle of the next century, the Ottoman Empire roughly consisted of modern-day Turkey. In fact, the terms "Turkey" and "Ottoman Empire" are used interchangeably. During the 1400s the empire was expanded by a series of invasions, including the Ottoman conquest of the Byzantine Empire in 1453. At its height the Byzantine Empire extended over a great land mass that included parts of eastern and central Europe, the Middle East, and northern Africa. After conquering the Byzantine Empire the Turks established a Muslim kingdom that continued for the next three centuries. -- History Fact Finder "What Was the Ottoman Empire?"
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